I Remember

Aren’t memories wonderful? They connect us to the past in such a unique way. In fact, they almost give the past a purpose, by making us what we are today. They can even become teaching tools for our present behavior. To remember is to honor. To honor is to value. What we value shapes who we become.

Memories can being out our sense of gratitude and thanksgiving. They can become priceless moments we savor for years and years after the actual event. “We do not remember days. We remember moments.” – Cesare Pavese. Aren’t we all so thankful that we have that old photo or letter from some distant relative that freezes that moment in time for us?

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Memories, good and difficult, unite and strengthen us. Who can forget the assassination of JFK or the attack on the Twin Towers on September 11? The remembrance brings us all to one moment on one day and unites us in our sorrow and national pride.

Memories give us a look into the past that is unique to each individual or group. No family remembers Christmases past like my family . . . . or yours. When my kiddos were little, we had a picnic under the Christmas tree after we had decorated it. We sang carols and talked about previous Christmases. Each picnic was a memory in itself and brought up other irreplaceable recollections of other picnics, gifts, surprises, Santa Claus stories, Christmas trees, decorations and hidden treasures.

Memories also remind us that the future brings more moments of remembrance. We can look forward to each new precious time that will become a future recollection that will feed our souls just as each past memory has done.

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Memories for children are vital and necessary. As grandparents, part of our job is to provide those wonderful little moments of fun, joy, learning, surprise and hope.

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Just by spending time with our children and grandchildren, by sharing our lives, our values, our loves and our treasures we give them small pictures etched in their minds for a lifetime. And the value of memories increases over time. What may seem trivial today, could become priceless tomorrow. What may be a split second today, may become a world of joy tomorrow. What seems meaningless today, will become everything tomorrow.

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So take that photo, write that letter, record that moment, celebrate everything, dress up, blow up balloons, light candles, set off firecrackers, make up a story, tell a joke, laugh, hug, bake a cake and always include the kids.

And you know what? Those moments become memories for us too!

 

Welcome To Granny’s Little House

I love miniatures. I love small-size anything. So naturally I’m a real sucker for miniature dolls and doll houses.

IFWhen my daughter was three years old, we (meaning her grandfather, father and I) built her a doll house. It was almost as tall as she was at the time. My father built the house from plans we found in a McCalls magazine. Gramps built most of the furniture and I decorated the house. It took several months and we got it done just in time for Christmas.

My daughter loved and played with that little house for many years. When she no longer felt the need to own it, the pink doll house came back to me. I have loved it from day one and have added furniture and accessories over the years.

When we moved into our new house, I made a special place for the house in the window seat of the guest bedroom. The little house, now 40 years old, needs upgrading and some rehab, but it’s just as cute as ever.

IFThe kitchen with Grandma bringing in the groceries. Lots of good food on the stove and ice cream on the table.

IFI keep expecting that small phone to ring!

IFNext to the kitchen is the dining room.

IFThe table is set and ready for a lovely meal. In fact, the pie is all ready to be cut and served.

IFThese are tiny little photos on the wall of the dining room. Could they be any smaller or cuter?

IFOn to the living room, where Grandpa in enjoying the paper and a pipe. Papa is the corner study with a cup of coffee.

IFDetails of the side table and the cat taking a nap in the basket.

IFUpstairs, Mama is bringing fresh flowers to the bedroom.

IMG_0042Mama’s dressing table with perfumes, combs and brushes. Such a lovely little corner of the room, don’t you think?

IFMama’s shoes, handbag, gloves and Papa’s slippers.

IMG_0040Wonderful old-fashioned bathroom with fluffy towels.

IMG_0039IFThis bathroom even comes with the tiniest toothbrush I’ve ever seen!

IFBaby and Junior are upstairs in the nursery. Plenty to play with there.

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IFOne of my favorite rooms – the sewing room.

IFLots going here.

IMG_0033Out on the veranda, it’s tea time.

IMG_0034I love visiting my sweet doll house and its occupants. The house is definitely showing some wear and tear after all the years but is very loved. Time for some maintenance on the old place. There is also another small house ready to be built and moved onto the window seat. Oh boy! Neighbors!

 

Look What We Did!

IMG_0023In 2013 my Quilting Bee held an exchange challenge of quilt blocks. Each person made squares for others and the same number of squares were made for them. I sent out eight blocks from a BOM (Block of the Month) that I never got done. In exchange, I made eight blocks for eight other women in the group. We had all year to finish the blocks, then they were given back to their owners at Christmas.

IMG_0030This is my exchange quilt from that challenge. Isn’t it lovely?! I love the idea that a village of quilters contributed to this wonderful beauty. You wouldn’t know to look at it but ten people worked on this cutey. Eight people made squares and then I put on the sashing and borders.

The tenth person did the fabulous quilting. Isn’t it amazing that so many can work on a piece and yet it looks like one person did it all?

IMG_0026This is truly a community effort and somehow all the love and care of each contributor comes through whenever I touch the quilt. It’s like being hugged by a whole family all at once. It doesn’t get any better!

 

Leaving A Legacy

legacy-brandEveryone wants to be remembered, to leave a legacy of some sort in their family. Many of us work hard to see that the gift truly reflects our values and beliefs.

As elders in the family, grandparents have a unique status. They have years of accumulated wisdom, knowledge and experience. No one else has the training to teach younger members how the world works, how people work and how life works. No one else can speak to situations of survival better than one who has survived for so many years. And certainly no one can relate better to end of life issues than a person facing those issues on a daily basis. Grandparents have a lot to give and their job is to give it all away.

2014-foundation-leaving-legacy_920x360That’s what leaving a legacy is – giving all the wisdom and learning of a lifetime to the next generation and the next and the next. Hopefully, a family elder will tell all the stories, give all the advice and relate all the philosophy by the time her life is over.

Not only is a legacy handed down orally in verbal stories but by simply showing the manner of how a life is lived. Sometimes we say more by what we do. A life well lived is the best example of excellence, of purpose, of love and of good behavior.

There is also the written manner in the form of a Spiritual Will. This can be a gift to your family of your core values, stories that illustrate the insights you have gained and/or love letters to those dearest to you. It is all the mental, emotional and spiritual traditions you want to leave to your family; life lessons that only you can endow to the younger generations.legacy

You will be remembered. You will leave a legacy. Make sure it is worthy.